08/16/2013 3:27PM

Hastings: Go for Guinness in Richmond Derby Trial after romp


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Go for Guinness took a huge step forward when he won the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay for British Columbia-breds on Aug. 5. If he continues his progress in Sunday’s $50,000 Richmond Derby Trial at Hastings, he’ll head into the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 8 as one of the favorites.

Sharing the spotlight on Sunday’s eight-race card is the $50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club for 3-year-old fillies, which serves as the final prep for the $100,000 B.C. Oaks, also on Sept. 8.

Go for Guinness went into the Stellar’s Jay with questions about his ability to carry his speed a middle distance. In two pervious route attempts the son of Rosberg was in contention heading into the stretch but came up empty both times, most recently in the $50,000 Chris Loseth on July 1 when he finished fourth. Any doubts were quashed with his powerful performance in the Stellar’s Jay. With Amadeo Perez aboard, he stalked a fast pace before drawing off to win by 6 1/2 lengths over Mark in a very fast time of 1:43.10.

Go for Guinness figures to get a similar trip in the 1 1/16-mile Derby Trial with a new rider. Enrique Gonzalez picks up the mount from Perez, who is at Emerald Downs to ride Herbie D in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile.

Bluegrass Pride blew by Go for Guinness in the stretch when they met in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race June 15 and then had a rough trip in the Chris Loseth, where he rallied to finish second behind Shooting Jacket after getting squeezed back at the start.

Trainer Craig MacPherson was pleased with the way Bluegrass Pride worked a bullet four furlongs in 46.80 seconds July 5, and he is expecting another strong performance, despite the seven-week layoff.

Tracker, trained by Barbara Heads, was sent off favored in the Stellar’s Jay, but never really got to run his race. With Mario Gutierrez aboard, Tracker was stuck on the rail, and when it looked like he might make a move at the quarter pole, he had nowhere to run.

“There was nothing Mario could have done about it,” Heads said. “Every time he tried to get out, he just had nowhere to go. It was disappointing, because I really liked the way he was training going into the race.”

Scott Williams picks up the mount and should be able to work out a clean trip with Tracker breaking from the outside post in the six-horse field.

Hong Kong Jockey Club: Miss Derek looks tough

MacPherson is hoping Miss Derek will be able to relax during the early stages of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. If she does, she could be a handful in the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew eight horses.

Miss Derek was good enough to win the $50,000 Supernaturel on July 1 despite being very rank when Enrique Gonzalez was trying to ease her into a stalking position after she broke on top in the 1 1/16-mile race. Her early protestations didn’t take anything out of her, though, and she was still full of run when she burst between horses to take command of the race in midstretch.

“She has been more settled in the morning, so hopefully she can relax during the race,” MacPherson said.

Gonzalez retains the mount.

There figures to be a fast and contested pace, which should play into the hands of Locket, who rallied to finish second in the B.C. Cup Dogwood, restricted to British Columbia-breds, on Aug. 5.

Trained by Frank Barroby, Locket is a half-sister to four route stakes winners and could take a big step forward in her second straight race going around three turns.

Trainer Troy Taylor still isn’t convinced two-time sprint stakes winner I Think So can carry her speed around three turns, but the veteran trainer did say she is going into the race better than when she finished fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Supernaturel.

Touching Promise, third in the Dogwood, could be dangerous from a stalking position.